For IT professionals, continual learning, upskilling and validating one’s experience matters. Technology, standards, as well as the regulatory landscape, are constantly changing, so in an occupation as dynamic as IT, professional development has become a necessity.
It has become imperative to keep your professional skills and knowledge up-to-date and stay relevant in an ever-changing world, and IT certifications are one way to demonstrate these skills.
Independent studies continue to demonstrate that holding a globally recognised IT certification enhances professional recognition and earning potential. It signifies to employers, potential employers and peers that you are dedicated to high professional standards and continual learning.
IT professionals must aim to remain relevant and effective in the workplace by periodically reviewing the need to enhance their skills and credentials and pursuing the training and certification of their choice to keep a competitive advantage.
An IT certification not only establishes a fundamental understanding of certain industry topics, whether they are broad or very specialised, but also displays one’s knowledge and skills to others in the industry. Certifications alert other industry professionals to your experience, areas of expertise and dedication to your craft.
Additionally, according to industry lists like Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary Report, there is a connection between IT certifications and salaries. IT certifications can help digital trust professionals qualify for a job with a higher salary across IT audit, cybersecurity, risk management, data privacy and related fields.
IT certifications expand professional possibilities in jobs for which certifications are a requirement. Many companies will pay a bonus outside of salaries for certifications that are preferred for specific positions.
Here are the top seven certifications that I recommend across five focus areas for 2023 for professionals seeking to advance their careers:
1. CLOUD-RELATED CERTIFICATION
Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK), from Cloud Security Alliance and ISACA: The cloud environment has been utilized at a level never seen before since the pandemic, and cloud auditing has become even more important.
This credential is the first-ever, technical, vendor-neutral credential for cloud auditing, helping prepare IT professionals to help their organizations mitigate risks and realize the full benefits of the cloud.
2. DATA PRIVACY-RELATED CERTIFICATIONS
Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE), from ISACA: Data privacy has become increasingly important for all IT professionals, especially as privacy regulations continue to expand. CDPSE allows professionals to validate their technical skills and knowledge to privacy solutions aligned with organizational needs and goals and incorporate privacy by design.
OneTrust Certified Fellow of Privacy Technology: OneTrust offers a certification that allows professionals to demonstrate their privacy operational experience, after completing their other professional certification courses.
3. SECURITY-RELATED CERTIFICATIONS
Certified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor (LA) / Lead Implementer (LI) / Transition Training, from various certification bodies: With the new ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 standards released, already certified ISO 27001:2013 LAs and LIs need to upgrade their competence by undertaking the transition course and be equipped to implement and audit new security controls.
For those who are not certified, they can choose to get certified on either the LA or LI programme or even both.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), from ISC2: This credential allows security professionals to validate their knowledge of security practices and principles and show they can design, implement and manage a cybersecurity program.
4. TECHNOLOGY-RELATED CERTIFICATION
Certified Scrum Master, from Scrum Alliance: Agile techniques have become valuable to many teams as they strive to become nimbler during this time of frequent change during the pandemic.
This certification allows professionals to learn the Scrum framework and how to guide their teams in applying Scrum in the agile work approach.
5. TECHNO-LEGAL-RELATED CERTIFICATION
Cyber Crime Intervention Officer (CCIO) from Information Sharing and Analysis Center: The CCIO is a course that aims to provide you with an essential background on cyberpsychology and cybercrimes.
The course lets detect early signs of problems in people around you at work and home and also equips you to be a first responder in case of cybercrimes.
This is a Government of India Recognised Certification, under National Educational Alliance for Technology 2.0, Approved by the Ministry of Education.
The letters in the certification acronym following your name alert others in the industry to these positive attributes with just a glance at your title.
There is a variety of certifications available in the market. Depending upon the skillset you are looking to build or strengthen, you can make an informed choice to advance your career.